Best of Dharma – Incriminating Photos


Hello one and all! Hope the week is treating you well – half way to the weekend!

We’re taking a stroll down memory lane and it was really the comments that sold me on this one!  Please feel free to add your thoughts!

Dear Dharma,

A few years ago I loved posting everything I did on Facebook, as did most of my friends. There are photos on there from vacations, get-together’s, parties… lots of parties.

I want to be clear, none of the photos are of me doing anything illegal nor is there anything pornographic. However, there are pictures of me looking extremely drunk and sometimes dressed provocatively.

The problem is I’m now trying to break into a career in a fairly conservative industry. I’ve deleted my Facebook account and asked all of my friends to take down any partying pics of me or at least untag me. However, friends of friends might still have some photos and I know nothing that goes onto Facebook ever truly gets deleted.

I’m worried that something could be found which could hurt my career chances. Is there anything more I can do to protect my privacy? Any suggestions for what I should do if an employer does find a less than professional photograph of me? I envy my parents’ generation since they were able to make all of their adolescent mistakes before the advent of digital cameras.

Camera Shy

Dear Camera,

These are excellent questions, particularly in how they relate to the previous post The One With the Friends Request.

The person you were then is the person millions of people are now, happily posting every thought, every scantily clad photo, with no thought for the person they will likely be in a few years.  That’s the beauty of youth, non?  The bliss of not entirely understanding how today’s actions can be tomorrow’s disasters.

I think you have taken some great measures to tie everything down.  You probably didn’t have to completely axe Facebook, since you can control the privacy settings – but if it works for you, it works for me.

If these pictures that may still be out there are from years back, I really don’t think you have anything to worry about.  The likelihood of anyone of consequence seeing them is slim, and even if they did, they should be able to recognize that everyone is young and foolish at some point in their lives, and that shouldn’t be held against you forever.  The main thing is there isn’t anything recent to make them question your judgement, right?

Should someone actually call you out on that picture of you with whipped cream in your hair and jello shots in your cleavage, well I would just smile demurely and mumble something about the good ole’ days.



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Categories: Advice, Friends, Work


  • saulgood says:

    I think she shouldnt worry. Like she said, nothing illegal, no porn… Good that she’s being conscientios about it now.

  • Pam says:

    Looking drunk and dressed provocatively? Honey, if you are not inserting anything into your body, you are fine!!!!! Any one that asks about a picture taken long ago and questions your fashion sense should be dealt with by saying, “Yes, it was me, it is not me now, and everyone probably has pictures they are not proud of floating around”, Mind you, if you are going into politics, the pictures might be an advantage……:)

  • Anonymous says:

    You could always accept the friend request and put your boss on limited profile viewing…I’ve done that with my husband’s boss (after he’d go in to work and comment on my weekend pics etc which irked my non-social media using husband)and people I work with as well.

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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